Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Are you stuck searching for the right bag to take to work? Well, look no further; check out our useful guide to the most stylish and practical bags to take into the office.
Long commutes and flexible hours are now commonplace in most office jobs. Therefore, there’s a chance you’ll constantly be on the move throughout your working day. That comfy desk you’re so fond of probably has other daily users, denying you that permanent storage space. Those drawers can only hold so many staplers, pens, and files before they become fit to burst.
Or perhaps, like so many office workers, you face a lengthy, early morning commute? Struggling into a car or onto a train with an overflowing armful of papers, or careering across town on a bike with a laptop in one hand clearly isn’t going to cut it. That’s why we have put together this guide to the best office bags. So, now you can put your struggle days behind you, well, every little helps, right?
Men’s Work Bags
When we refer to a men’s work bag, we definitely do not mean that tatty old plastic shopping bag you usually carry (even if you did have to pay for it). We are talking about a quality bag fit for the working man. Whatever choice you make, it will need to be spacious enough for your essentials, tough enough for your commute and stylish enough for your look.
We’ve sifted through all the bags for men out there to find the best offices choices. No matter what your own personal style, your travel arrangements, or indeed, your career, one of these bags will definitely do the trick!
Best Work Bags for Men
The Messenger Bag
The Messenger bag has been around for a long time, and it’s that timeless quality that has recently seen them grow in popularity as one of the most popular business bags for men. The most famous adopters of the Messenger bag were the riders of the Pony Express. Established in 1860, a chain of horse riding delivery men would transport letters, parcels and other goods across America.
The riders could travel the width of the country in the blink of an eye, from the Atlantic coast, right across to the Pacific coast, often in as little as ten days. Although the service was soon rendered obsolete by the invention of the telegraph, the remains of its legacy can still be felt in the modern day in the form of the Messenger bag. The bag was typically carried across the body to keep those precious letters and parcels safe.
Messenger bags are very versatile and perfectly compliment almost any outfit, but will look especially good in the office. Herschel’s messenger bags are among some of the best messenger bags for men with most featuring padded areas for laptops as well as meshed organisers for all your bits inside.
Whilst you may not ride a horse into the office, you may brave the roads and travel in by bike. Most messenger bags feature a comfortable adjustable body strap; perfect for keeping it away from those spinning spokes.
If you find yourself working with a more casual office dress code, try a satchel on for size. Like the backpack, it’s been commonly associated with bookish schoolchildren, especially those slightly geeky chaps in cartoons. This image of the school satchel dates back hundreds of years.
In the 1599 Shakespeare play ‘As You Like It’ the satchel is mentioned in the famous ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech, where Shakespeare describes the stages of human life. He mentions the”whining schoolboy with his satchel”. Whilst this a stereotype that still exists today, in recent years the satchel has seen a huge growth in popularity as a bag for adults.
Available in a multitude of leathers, both faux and real, black or brown, the satchel combines style with practicality making it one of the best work bags for men. The cross body strap and popper fastenings allow you to retrieve your stashed gadgets with ease, and the interior is typically roomy enough to stash a small laptop.
Even though it is still often burdened with an unfair reputation as a kids’ possession, the backpack is now one of the most commonly sported bags around. Sure, one look might remind you of those childhood days you spent tripping over them in the school hallways, or fishing desperately inside for your lunchbox or misplaced maths textbook during break times – but the backpack is still a great choice for the office.
Although it’s a probably more appropriate fit for the casual and relaxed office space, Eastpak’s designs offer perfect protection for your stuff and more comfort as you carry it around making them ideal as a work backpack.
The backpack has the best of both worlds, casual and smart, with a large storage space and ease of carrying. As an added bonus, the typically soft material means that a backpack can be stowed away safely under the desk when it’s not in use. The days of tripping over them in the hallways are finally over! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
So, now you’ve mastered wearing the backpack at the office, try to consider other places where you can wear it -get the most out of your purchase! Due to its waterproof material and strong straps, a backpack is suitable for all sorts of destinations, whether you feel like a fancy hotel getaway, or braving the elements on a rural retreat. Just make sure you plan your trip well, and pack the right stuff!
An even more casual alternative to the backpack is the rucksack. The word “rucksack” is German in origin, and literally means “bag for your back”, and to be honest, at first glance, there’s really very little difference between the two styles. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice one key advantage the rucksack has over the backpack.
Utilised heavily by armed forces, the rucksack features a winning combination of a drawstring, covered by a flap. These dual closing mechanisms provide an extra layer of security for your possessions and will stop anything tumbling out whilst on the train.
The Duffel Bag
The small Belgium town of Duffel is famous worldwide for its namesake heavy wool cloth. This was often used to make durable overcoats and luggage for the military. Soon, these drawstring bags came to be known as ‘Duffel Bags’. The Duffle is the name, and a product, which is very familiar and popular today the world over.
It’s becoming commonplace in the modern working environment for office workers to slip in a quick workout. Although many offices are now equipped with their own gyms or have one a stones’ throw away from their front door, finding a place to store all that sports equipment until your lunch break can sometimes become a problem. Instead of cramming your track suit ungainly into a desk drawer, consider investing in a duffel bag.
Duffel bags often come with dedicated shoe compartments, and plenty of compartments for other items of gym equipment, so you don’t have to worry about scuffing up those nice new running shorts, or losing that precious water bottle.
If you want to try something a little different from the usual colours, green is a popular option this season! Just make sure to combine a green bag with neutral coloured clothes to create yourself a fashionable new look that’ll look great in the office.
Are Work Bags for Men Fashionable?
Whilst men may have once scoffed at the idea of office bags, they are as much a part of the modern male look as the suit and tie. If you’ve ever been petrified at the idea of searching for the right bag, just remember, there’s a diverse and fashionable range of styles available. Surely one has to fit the bill?
Make sure you choose a bag that compliments the vibe of your office. A very formal environment may not suit a backpack or messenger bag. In an office with a more casual attitude, it may be the perfect addition to your outfit.
Your bag must be tough enough to withstand the rain, wind and snow that your commute can throw at you. If you regularly cycle into the office, try a messenger bag or backpack with shoulder or body straps. This will keep it away from those snagging bike wheels.
The interior must be large enough to cram in all those office necessities, like laptops and charger cables. You simply can’t live without those. Try considering a specialist version of a briefcase or messenger bag specifically tailored towards computer carrying.
In terms of style, you can’t go wrong with choosing dark, classic colours, such as black, brown, grey and beige. These will blend effortlessly into any office outfit, from smart suits all the way down to more casual chinos, or even jeans; if you’re lucky enough to work in that kind of place.
Perhaps you could consider owning a few of each style of bag, in case your work day changes. When the day of that important meeting looms on the horizon, swap that backpack for a satchel or one of your best briefcases to give an air of professionalism. When the trains are running late again, swap the satchel for a sturdy messenger bag and cycle into the office.
Whatever the situation, or whatever problems you face, there will be a bag that will come to the rescue. Mix and match all these bags until you find a style that suits you. Carrying your things to and from the office every day will never have been an easier task.
Best Men’s Office Bags
- Always consider where you’ll be going and who you’ll be meeting when choosing an office bag.
- If you’re planning on cycling to work, a messenger bag or backpack is ideal. They won’t get caught in the spokes because of their straps.
- A smart leather satchel is a stylish, lighter alternative to a typical briefcase.
- Rucksacks, in fabric or leather, are now a popular and acceptable office bag in most workplaces.
- When purchasing, always consider your personal style, the amount of space needed and the ease of carrying.
On That Note
And there you have it. Now that you’ve got a complete understanding of some of best work bags for every setting, as well as different options depending on what you plan on doing for the day – you’re set!
The key to take away from this is to always cater your bag choice to your needs. Cycling to work? Opt for a messenger bag. Looking to impress your clients? A smart leather satchel should do the trick. Now go forth, and carry yourself, and your bits and bobs, with style!